Layout: Brigit Herrmann, Gümmenen
Photography “Lacs de Fenêtre”: Michel Roggo

Stepping across the Atlantic

The first Swiss families settled in the Dominican Republic in the 19th century. Official bilateral relations did not begin until 1936, however, when Switzerland appointed Frederic Schaad to be its first Honorary Consul and opened a consulate in Santo Domingo. This was changed to a consulate-general in 1959, then upgraded to an embassy in 2007. For its part, the Dominican Republic opened an embassy in Berne in 1999. The two countries have had a very good economic, political and cultural relationship over the course of these 80 years.

Although most Swiss people will only be aware of the Dominican Republic as a tropical holiday resort, it has more in common with Switzerland than one might think, both in terms of population (DR: 10 million, CH: 8.5 million) and in terms of area (DR: 48 000 km², CH: 41,000 km²) the two countries are fairly similar. They also share some similarities when it comes to nature. For instance – and it probably comes as a surprise to many – there are wonderful mountain ranges in the island’s interior.

To commemorate this major anniversary of relations between the two countries, a joint issue will focus on these commonalities. The linking element of the stamps is therefore the landscapes: water on the two Swiss stamps and mountains on the two Dominican ones.

Muriel Fischer, Swiss Embassy in Santo Domingo

Stamp presentation, Joint issue Switzerland – Dominican Republic

The special stamps from the Joint issue Switzerland – Dominican Republic were officially presented to the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic by Swiss Post in the form of a stamp enlargement at the Dominican embassy in Berne on 15 December 2016.

Left to right: Arelis Rodriguez (Counsellor), Lucy Diaz (Ministry Counsellor), Modesto Guzmán (Director of INPOSDOM), Julio Simon Castaños (Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Switzerland), Roman Heini (Head of Stamps & Philately, Post CH Ltd), Isabelle Bühler (Product Manager, Stamps & Philately, Post CH Ltd), Alfonsina González Nicasio (Ministry Counsellor).

Festivities to mark the joint issue had already taken place in the Dominican Republic on 20 October 2016. The event at the JW Marriott Hotel in Santo Domingo attracted more than 100 visitors. 

Left to right: Alejandro Vigniero (the designer of the Dominican stamps), Modesto Guzmán (Director of INPOSDOM), Line León-Pernet (Ambassador of Switzerland to the Dominican Republic), Miguel Vargas Maldonado (Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic), Jude Thaddeus Okolo (Papal Nuncio), Julio Simon Castaños (Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Switzerland).

Dominican stamp sheet, designed by Alejandro Vignieri.

Swiss stamp sheet, designed by Brigit Herrmann.